The final show before the last Big-4 PPV of the year, SmackDown delivered on every front this week. The brawls continued, rivalries headed into a new direction, and a familiar sight from two decades ago was recreated in the main event.
Event: WWE SmackDown
Date: November 22, 2019
Location: Chicago, IL
Survivor Series Men’s Team Captain for Team Blue, Roman Reigns, opened the show with a speech in front of the entire blue brand roster. He encouraged the superstars to prevent an invasion before he was interrupted by Sasha Banks. Banks said she doesn’t take orders from anyone, and took the Women’s Team with her to the ring for a fight.
Sasha Banks and her team for Survivor Series made their way to the ring and laid out a challenge for Team RAW, and it was quickly accepted by Charlotte Flair, who brought out the rest of the Team RAW with her. NXT superstar Rhea Ripley interrupted and introduced the Women’s team for NXT at Survivor Series. Ripley proposed a three-way matchup between the captains, which led to trash talking and a brawl broke out.
Rhea Ripley def. Charlotte Flair & Sasha Banks: The three captains fought in a triple threat matchup just a few days before the major showdown, with Ripley picking up a cheeky win over the two stalwarts. Ripley pinned Flair while she was in the middle of a Figure Eight submission on Banks. Post-match, RAW and SmackDown teams brawled again while the NXT team looked on.
Sami Zayn headed to the ring along with Shinsuke Nakamura and presented the Intercontinental Champion with a brand-new Intercontinental Championship belt. The duo was interrupted by the Undisputed Era, who promised to win their match at WarGames and takedown the main roster teams on Sunday.
The Undisputed Era def. The New Day and Heavy Machinery: The New Day and Heavy Machinery interrupted the faction from NXT and the four heels warmed up for their matchup at Takeover with a victory over their SmackDown counterparts.
Post-match, AJ Styles attacked his opponents for Survivor Series. Zayn tried to make the save with chair shots, while the rest of The Undisputed Era saved their partner.
Styles, along with Gallows and Anderson, delivered a promo and promised to reign supreme at Survivor Series. Styles also took a shot at CM Punk in his promo, much to the dissent of the Chicago crowd.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz ends in No Contest: Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring and asked The Fiend to come out into the ring. Instead, The Miz showed up and both the rivals trash-talked each other before Miz slapped Bryan. The two individuals faced off in singles matchup which couldn’t reach its conclusion as Bryan was greeted by his Survivor Series opponent, The Fiend. Bray Wyatt’s alter ego delivered the Mandible Claw to Bryan to end the segment.
Shayna Baszler delivered an in-ring promo but got blindsided by Bayley. Both the competitors went at it before Bayley ran out to the back, leaving Baszler fuming.
King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode def. Roman Reigns, Shorty G, Mustafa Ali: The competitors from the Survivor Series team of Team Blue featured in the main event, in which Corbin took the victory for his team with a Deep Six on Mustafa Ali.
Post-match, RAW superstars made their way to the ring and a big brawl broke out. Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Road Dogg appeared in a Jeep, reminiscent of DX’s invasion of WCW, and brought the complete NXT roster with them. The show ended with all three brands fighting it out in the ring.
Takeaways from Friday Night SmackDown
1. Now That’s What a Go-Home Show Should Look Like
Survivor Series buildup is always predictable. The competing brands will bring their roster and big brawls will break out. However, WWE did three different ‘invasions’ this week, and none of them seemed out of order.
The icing on the cake on tonight’s episode was Triple H bringing out his troops, bringing back memories of the infamous DX invasion of Monday Night Nitro.
WWE also realized that they have several superstars who could produce a dream match, and a face-off between such superstars is always goosebumps-inducing. Keith Lee and Braun Strowman is a match that no one knew they needed until this episode, and WWE did a good job of hyping that up.
Hopefully, the PPV on Sunday will live up to the lofty expectations, as the fantasy warfare gets real one more time!
2. NXT’s Time In The Sun
The major selling point behind this PPV was the introduction of the third brand, and NXT has been presented as a major force this past few weeks. The whole of November we have seen The Undisputed Era, Keith Lee, Rhea Ripley, Shayna Baszler, etc get the spotlight they deserve, which has even led to a spark in the ratings on Wednesday nights.
Hopefully, WWE doesn’t do a U-turn at Survivor Series and bury NXT on Sunday. Last year, SmackDown was brutally destroyed by RAW, in a clean sweep, and considering WWE’s infatuation with the A-Show (RAW) they could very well do NXT dirty.
3. The Drama Continues
Daniel Bryan’s intriguing storyline involving two ghosts of his past, Miz and Bray Wyatt, has been told incredibly well until now. Bryan and Miz went at each other this week, leading to a match.
Bryan is being forced to accept his former self, which he had ditched last year, and it is only a matter of time before the YES Movement starts once again.